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Judaism Moses and Aaron

Haggadah. Jacob Sofer ben Judah Leib Shamash of Berlin, scribe. Hamburg, AM 5491 (1731 CE). NYPL, Dorot Jewish Division.

Although the practice of writing books by hand declined precipitously after the introduction of new printing technology in the mid-15th century, a revival of Hebrew manuscript production took place in the 18th century. Domestic liturgies, such as books of blessings, grace after meals, Sabbath compendia, and Passover Haggadot, were among the texts most frequently executed by a cadre of Jewish scribe-artists. These works were produced primarily for Court Jews, wealthy individuals who, in addition to the financial services they provided to numerous princes and courts of Central Europe, served as intercessors on behalf of their co-religionists.

The iconic representation of Moses and Aaron on the title page of the Hamburg Haggadah (the second image in the gallery) appears in hundreds of printed works and manuscripts.

View more images from the Hamburg Haggadah in the Library's Digital Gallery.

Library Catalog Record